By Lawrence Olaoye
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has set a target of 20,000 megawatt of electricity transmission capacity by 2021.
Managing Director of TCN, Usman Mohammed, made this known while presenting the company’s 2018 scorecard to State House Correspondents yesterday at the Presidential Villa.
He said “We have established transmission, rehabilitation and expansion programme. The main objective of this is to rehabilitate, stabilize and expand the delivery capacity of TCN to at least 20,000 megawatts by 2021 and we are on track.”
According to the TCN boss, transmission capacity improved by over 3,000 megawatts between February and December, an indication that the rehabilitation and expansion programme embarked upon was on track.
He, however, explained that the increase in transmission capacity has not translated into distribution because of ratio of demand to supply.
Mohammed however expressed the confidence that the situation will soon change with more industrial customers demanding to be put on the national grid.
The TCN boss disclosed that international donors have injected a total sum of $1.6 billion to finance critical electricity transmission and distribution projects that will shortly lead to substantial improvement in electricity supplies to end-users.
He listed the five notable projects to include: Abuja transmission ring scheme which is financed by the French Development Agency which attracted $170 million; the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Access Project (NETAP), a $486 million project financed by the World Bank; Lagos- Ogun Transmission Project, costing $200 million financed by Japanese International Agency (JICA); Northern Corridor Transmission Project to be financed by French Development Agency and European Union at $245 and €25 million respectively and Nigeria Transmission Expansion project to be financed by the African Development Bank at the cost of $410 million.
Mohammed also made a case for the various Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to provide electricity meters for consumers as part of measures to solve the nation’s power challenges.
He stressed that Nigerian consumers are ready to pay their electricity bills if only they are sure they are being billed appropriately.
The TCN boss added that the excuse of consumers being too poor to afford electricity tariffs does not really hold water, and this can be confirmed if they are provided with meters to save them from the widespread arbitrariness of estimated billing.
He described the argument of inadequate power supply as being responsible for failure to pay bills as a ‘chicken and egg’ dilemma, which could be resolved by allowing the consumer pay for only the amount of electricity he consumed.
According to him, smaller and poorer countries like Burkina Faso has achieved as much as 98 percent electricity transmission because the country has taken up the challenge of regulated and metered electricity supply to consumers.
He said such efficiency allows Burkina Faso to buy energy from neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire without owing and debts.
He announced that Nigeria’s transmission capacity currently stands at 8,100 megawatts although only about 5,000 megawatts can be taken up by the DISCOs.
Nonetheless, he assured electricity consumers that the TCN would continue to expand its capacity while the DISCOs strive to expand theirs, all geared towards ensuring improved power supply in the country.
Mohammed added his tenure inherited a number of failed projects in November which are being implemented including the replacement of many transformers across the country.